Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
New drug may prevent death from flu virus

Instead of targetting the virus that causes flu, the new drug can prevent the blood vessels from leaking fluid into the lung's air sacs

 

Scientists in Canada have developed a new drug that offers an unconventional approach to beat the flu virus.
 
The researchers who found the drug was effective in two different strains of mice and three different strains of flu believe the drug could be effective in animals other than mice, including humans.
 
Instead of targetting the virus that causes flu, the new drug can prevent the blood vessels from leaking fluid into the lung's air sacs.
 
People who die from the flu actually die from respiratory failure, when the lung's tiny blood vessels start leaking fluid into the lung's air sacs.
 
The new drug, Vasculotide, developed by researchers at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto acts on the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.
 
The drug was effective against multiple strains of influenza, including the 2009 swine flu pandemic strain.
 
"While this research was conducted in mice, I found the results exciting since the drug was effective in two different strains of mice and three different strains of flu," said Warren Lee, a researcher with St. Michael's Hospital's Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences, who tested the new drug on mice.
 
As the mechanism of blood vessels leaking into lungs is common throughout animals, Lee was optimistic that the drug could be effective in animals other than mice, including humans.
 
Without the drug, 100 percent of the mice died within one week.
 
With the drug, more than 80 percent survived.
 
The drug worked even if it was administered days after the infection began.
 
The drug worked alone and in combination with antivirals and it worked without compromising the body's ability to mount an immune response to the virus.
 
The study appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.
 

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Another 120 cabs impounded in Delhi for flouting rules

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai meanwhile said he has given Uber, Ola and TaxiForSure a week's time to furnish the data on drivers and vehicles

 

Continuing its crackdown on radio cabs operating in the national capital without proper licences, the Delhi traffic police has impounded another 120 vehicles, taking the total number to 300 in just three days, it was announced on Friday.
 
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai meanwhile said he has given Uber, Ola and TaxiForSure a week's time to furnish the data on drivers and vehicles.
 
"I have met representatives of cab drivers' associations over the past two days and they have told me that they have submitted all their details with the offices of these companies located at Gurgaon. Then why are these companies hesitant to share the data with the transport department?" Rai said while speaking to IANS on the phone.
 
The minister said in a statement issued on Friday evening that the Delhi government told the cab operators that their pending applications for fresh licences would be considered if they agreed to adhere to the existing ban on them, furnish the data on drivers and their vehicles within a week and give an undertaking that they will comply with safety regulations, particularly for women commuters.
 
Special Commissioner of Police, Delhi traffic police, Muktesh Chander, however, told IANS that a large majority of the vehicles were impounded because they were operating in Delhi using an All India Tourist Permit, which allows only trips between states, and not because they did not have a radio taxi licence.
 
"During a special drive undertaken by the Delhi traffic police against unauthorised/unlicensed radio taxis (Ola Cabs, TaxiForSure, Uber) 158 taxis were prosecuted and 120 taxis were impounded during the past 24 hours," he said.
 
He said the drive against unauthorised operation of such radio taxis in Delhi will continue. "All are requested and advised to avail the services of only licensed taxi providers duly authorised by the transport department," he added.
 
Uber, as well as ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd-owned Ola and TaxiForSure, have continued to operate in Delhi even after being banned after a passenger alleged she was raped by a driver booked using the Uber app in December 2014.
 
Reacting to the developments on Friday, an Uber spokesperson told IANS: "We support our partner-drivers fully. Till the last reports came, around 150 cabs have been seized by the Delhi Police."
 
Uber further said: "Our drivers have full liberty to offer services to other operators. Also we have on Friday submitted all the required documents for verification."
 
Uber, Ola, and TaxiForSure have been defying the government ban for six months now.
 
"It is extremely surprising that despite agreeing in the meeting, these companies did not furnish the data within the time limit agreed to by them. It was due to this that their pending applications for fresh licences was rejected," Rai said in a statement.
 
The AAP government has decided to again write to the central government to block the apps of these taxi operators and take strict action against them for not complying with the ban.
 
"We will soon send a reminder to the central government to take action against Uber and Ola cabs for not complying with the ban order," Rai said in the statement.
 
Uber has landed in another controversy with one of its drivers being accused of molesting a woman passenger on May 31 during a ride to Gurgaon.
 
The Delhi government on May 28 had again directed Uber and Ola Cabs to submit details of their drivers and vehicles if they wanted to "regularise" their services in the city, but according to the minister, they have "not turned up" so far.
 

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FIR filed against Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Preity Zinta

Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta were brand ambassadors of the food item, Maggi noodles

 

An FIR was filed in Bihar on Friday against officials of Maggi noodles maker Nestle and Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, brand ambassadors of the food item, following a court order.
 
'In compliance with a court's order, an FIR was filed in Muzaffarpur's Kazi Mohammadpur police station," a district police official said.
 
On Monday, advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha had filed a criminal case in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Muzaffarpur against officials of Maggi noodles maker Nestle and Amitabh and Madhuri.
 
The popular snack has been hounded by controversy after media reports of the presence of harmful contents surfaced.
 

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